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Hey, How You Doin’?: Czech Conversation Starters


We aren’t all super bubbly extroverts, and starting a conversation is not always easy.

It doesn’t matter if you are at a party with native speakers, at your new job/school, or sitting by yourself in a café––there MIGHT be a situation where you just want to interact with a stranger. Or worse: You will have to interact. Unless you don’t mind being “the quiet one.”

How about starting a basic Czech conversation (or a conversation in any foreign language)? I remember how anxious this made me feel in my first job. Almost 75% of my coworkers were foreigners from all over the world (with accents), and everytime I met one of them in the kitchen, I was SO awkward. It still makes me cringe when I think about it.

How to start a conversation in Czech? Things are a little different around here, and we’re not the most friendly folks you have ever met. However, when someone asks jak se máš? (“how are you doing?”) they actually mean it. And when a complete stranger strikes up a convo at a pub or in the canteen, they actually want to talk to you––they are not just being polite.

Also, it’s not usual to talk to strangers on public transportation unless you need something, or in the line at the cash register, again, unless you need something. The best Czech conversation starter practice should ideally take place at a bar, at work, at school, or someplace fun. No worries, it’s going to be a breeze. Just smile.

In this article, you will learn Czech conversation starters for socializing, a first date, Czech basic conversation starters for your first day at school or work, and a few tips on how to start an email or a text in Czech.

Two Colleagues Talking with Each Other After Work

Jak se jmenuješ? – What’s your name?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. So… Do You Like H’ordeuvres?: How to Start a Conversation at a Party
  2. Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For?: First Day at a New School or Job
  3. You’re Almost as Pretty as My Ex: Conversation Starters for your First Date
  4. U Up?: How To Start an Email or Text Conversation
  5. How Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. So… Do You Like H’ordeuvres?: How to Start a Conversation at a Party

First things first: We don’t call them h’ordeuvres. In Czech, they’re jednohubky, which literally means “one mouthers” (guess why), chlebíčky, or just food. And food is a GREAT icebreaker. Another awesome topic for socializing and mingling is the host of the event you’re currently at, and compliments. 

Flattery will get you anywhere, and if you’re not skilled in this sophisticated art, check out our article here and our list of phrases here––they’re useful for any Czech learner.

All of the following conversation starters are in the second person singular, masculine/feminine. In case you are not sure what these words even mean, I suggest you start here.

  • Kde jste se seznámili s [the host]? Odkud znáš [the host]? – “How did you meet/know [the host]? Where did you meet XX?”
  • Co to jíš? Co to piješ? Vypadá to skvěle. – “What is that you are eating? What is it that you are drinking? It looks great.” 
  • Chutná ti to? – “Do you like it?” (literally, “does it taste to you?”)
  • Jak dlouho ti trvala cesta? – “How long did it take for you to get here?” (literally, “how long did your journey take?”)
  • Kde pracuješ? Co děláš za práci? – “What do you do for a living?” 
  • Jdu si pro něco k jídlu. Jdu si pro něco k pití. Dáš si něco? – “I’m going to get some food. I’m going to get something to drink. Would you like anything?”
  • Bavíš se dobře? – “Are you having fun?”
  • Líbí se ti tahle hudba/typ umění? Máš rád/a tuhle kuchyni? – “Do you like this kind of music/art? Do you like this cuisine?”
  • Chodíš na takové akce často? – “Do you attend such events often?”
  • Chodíš často na večírky? – “Do you party a lot?”
  • Chodíš často ven, nebo jsi radši doma? – “Do you go out often or do you prefer to stay in?”

Two People Chatting and Laughing at a Party with Drinks

To byl skvělý večer. – That was a great night.

2. Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For?: First Day at a New School or Job

We have all been there, the first days are tough. However, the following phrases will make your transition phase a lot easier. 

Just smile, breathe and say:

  • Zdravím, já jsem [name]. Jsem tu první den. Jak ti mám říkat? – “Hi, my name is [name]. It’s my first day here. What should I call you?” 
  • Pardon, jsem to nový/nová a nevyznám se tu. Kde najdu [place/person]? – “Excuse me, I’m new and don’t really know my way around here. Where can I find [place/thing/person]?”
  • Můžu s tebou jít na oběd? – “Can I join you for lunch?”
  • Je tu volno? – “Is this seat free?” (literally, “is it free here?”)
  • Můžu si přisednout? – “Can I sit here with you?”
  • Jak dlouho tu studuješ/pracuješ? – “How long have you been working/studying here?” 
  • Moc se mi líbí tvoje tričko. Kde jsi ho koupil/a? – “I like your shirt. Where did you get it?”
  • Můžu se k tobě přidat? – “May I join you?”
  • Mohl/a bys mi s něčím pomoct? – “Could you help me with something?”
  • Hledám [person/place/thing], nevíš, kde je? – “I’m looking for [person/place/thing], do you know where it is?” (literally (“don’t you know where it is?”)

Check out this school-related vocabulary or listen to this Czech conversation about jobs for absolute beginners.

A Child Clinging to Their Parent on Their First Day of School

První den. – First day.

3. You’re Almost as Pretty as My Ex: Conversation Starters for your First Date

In my opinion, dates and any interaction with our love interests are the best “Czech conversation starters” lesson: If you really like the person, you will ultimately want to talk to them, and your motivation will propel you forward in your language learning journey. Take a look at this article about how falling in love might help you learn Czech faster.

I think “we’ve all been there” applies to this too––your ex is probably not the best topic. 

These are much better options, get inspired:

  • Moc ti to sluší! Líbí se mi tvůj účes/outfit/parfém. – “You look great! I like your  [hair/outfit/perfume].” (literally, “it suits you!”)
  • Kde jsi vyrůstal/a? – “Where did you grow up?”
  • Chodíš sem často? – “Do you come here often?”
  • Tohle je tvoje oblíbená restaurace/kavárna? – “Is this your favorite restaurant/café?”
  • Máš nějaké zvíře? – “Do you have a pet?”
  • Jaký film máš nejradši? Jaká/jaké je tvoje nejoblíbenější knížka/jídlo? Kdo je tvůj nejoblíbenější autor/herec/zpěvák? – What’s your favorite [movie/food/actor/singer]?”
  • Co nejraději děláš ve volném čase? – “What do you like to do in your free time?” (literally, “what do you like the most to do in your free time?”)
  • Pracuješ hodně? – “Do you work a lot?”
  • Máš hodně zájmů? – “Do you have many hobbies?” (literally, “interests”)
  • Máš hodně přátel? – “Do you have a lot of friends?”
  • Co tě baví? – “What do you enjoy?” (as in, “What do you like about life?”)
  • Co tě nebaví? – “What do you dislike?” (again, a general question about the person’s outlook on pretty much anything. Their answer might be Škola! (“School!”) or Lidi, co se hloupě vyptávají (“People who ask silly questions.”)––anything works. 
  • Baví tě tvoje práce/škola? – “Do you like your job/school?”
  • Vždycky jsi chtěl/a být [job title]? – “Have you always wanted to be [job title]?”

Did the first date go well? You might want to take a look at this.

A Couple being Intimate


4. U Up?: How To Start an Email or Text Conversation

Emails and texts are easy. You’re probably (hopefully) texting someone who knows you have their number, you’ve introduced yourself, and now you just want to be friendly or charming––depending on your intentions.

I suggest you check out these must-know Czech social media phrases, too, just to make sure you’re fully acquainted with the Czech virtual communication specifics. Not enough? Here’s a second helping––how to post in Czech.

  • Čau, co máš v plánu na tenhle víkend? – “Hey, what do you have planned this weekend?”
  • Dlouho jsme se neviděli. Zavolej mi, až budeš mít čas. Chci vědět, co je nového! – “It’s been a while. Give me a call when you have a chance. I’d like to catch up with you!” 
  • Musím ti říct, jaká blbost se mi stala. Kdy se sejdeme? – “I’ve got to tell you the dumbest thing that has ever happened to me. When will we meet up?” (blbost literally means “stupidity,” and it’s a colloquial word)
  • Pomoc! Které šaty si mám vybrat? Modré, nebo fialové? – “Help! Which dress should I choose? Blue or purple?”
  • Chceš slyšet něco srandovního? – “Wanna hear something funny?” (srandovní is a colloquial word derived from the word sranda, which means “fun”)
  • Hádej, co se dneska stalo. – “Guess what happened today.
  • Hádej, kdo mi dneska psal. – “Guess who texted me today.”
  • Hádej, koho jsem dneska potkal/a ve městě. – “Guess whom I met earlier today in town.” 
  • Uviděl/a jsem tuhle knížku/tyhle šaty/tenhle meme/tohle a vzpomněl/a jsem si na tebe. Jak je? – “I saw this book/this dress/this meme/this, and thought of you. How is it going?” (Jake je? Is a very informal phrase that you should only use with people you know well)
  • Napadlo mě že by se ti to mohlo líbit. – “I thought you might like this.”

Someone Writing an Email

Writing an email.

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One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you and when you plan to start practicing these in real life! An upcoming date, a party, or maybe a spontaneous interaction on the street? We look forward to hearing from you!

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